When we were black: African child poem

1806-1-1-CHIP 2Written by students from different African countries: Albert Sithole ,Donald Kuutsi, Inomusa Ndlovu, Gregory Samakande, Monica Rupazo, Benevolent Masora, Lucky Bulayani , Onalethuso P.B.M Ntema



We all cried when we came to earth

every child must cry, they said

but ours were tears of despair

for we had experienced the pain

of our mothers while they carried us

we felt the scorching heat of the plantations

her heavy swollen feet from 20 hours of work with us in her womb

carrying us yet she laboured like a donkey


we came to earth on a cursed skin

a skin of no value in its darkness

overworked, beaten and set dogs on

torn into pieces by their German Shepherds

when we were black no one cared


we carried anger within our hearts

our scarred and heavily marked bodies

cried out for revenge and for annihilation

of the skinless man, the savage animal


when we were black we died

we were lynched and burnt alive

we were despised

we were raped and left broken

in the eyes of the skinless man

we were nothing but just black


We took up weapons

we marched in protest

bullets were fired with no mercy

we died a painful death

thrown into mass graves

and mattered no more to a skinless man, the white man


we fought as a unity

we died for a purpose

we were buried together in one grave

our spirits rose together

re-ignited the hunger for freedom

in those left on earth

when we were black, we were

but nothing that counted

we waged war for our freedom

but we died before we lived

to see the day we became people

but my spirit watch from afar

as you celebrate us who died

when we were black



It looks like a treadmill of events,

Farfetched events,

That hung sly on my mind,

Active on my vivid thoughts,

They were the days that we lived,

That cannot be removed by shaking the head,

I live to regret the somber,

Because i lost understanding

With my conscience trembled upon,

Downtrodden by a living will,

Bruised minds, wounded egos,

It’s the days that mold me,

To trust my faith and fight like a lone soldier,

To win this deafening battle,

That wants to guillotine my soul,

I’m made a valiant of life,

Yet nature pushes me upfront,

Tossed and turned in confrontation,

By a hardcore existence

Our cries fading with the years

But we emerge victorious,

Wise and full of intelligence

Strong like a soldier

Through the black days



When we were born, we were black

When we were black, they dispised us

Then they struck at us like lightning and tempest

Free powers unlimited by the perplexities of intellect

But are we wise without intellect?


When we were black, we realized a thing

It drove us there to mountains of will

It walked us still in the darkest of forests

Of cold hearted lions that hungered for long

In African deserts inhabited by us

When we were black to own them again

Adapt to their system like we have

We remain black we like it still…



through the wire

Children of the land of azania united they stood up,

Fighting for emancipation from apartheid

Gallant sons and daughters of azania

Under the shadow of the black days

Facing endless nightmares

Sleepless nights

Thoughts crawling through the wire

Trying to escape misery in pursuit of freedom

Answers to unlock the puzzle of life

Taking each day as it comes,

Looking back how far we have came

When we were black

Some memories can’t fed

As wrinkles write down the story of – on our faces

Even if we plead with the wind to erase the pages

My thoughts have succumbed to forget the struggle the children of

azania went through

Brutally murdered in broad day light

Fighting for their will

I try to close my eyes to let moments& wind blow away the memories,

But my thoughts have become the mirrors of our lives

Even though the future was bleak

Blind folding the vision with an ambition

Dancing in slow motion,

Listening to the breeze,

But they couldn’t listen to the speed of the sound

Fate came in crippling

Shadow of death upon them ,

As they stood firm on the ground

Fighting like knights in honour and valour

Fighting for what we believe in

Without out any fear when it comes to life

fighting for legacy and for the future like knights

Viva children of Azania

Couer de lions

Knights of Africa

All because of you we are free

Enjoying the fruits of your struggle

Even though the struggle wasn’t easy

Through the wire you crawled to the promised land

Despite the black days!!



Giggle coughs, I can glide my dreams on sledge

Without pendulous tears hanging, no dew drops on my lashes.

A winged mind afloat, against loops of entrapment.

Ineffectuality ended, grabbed by the throat, I sing until my buccal froths.

Unrestricted empowerment, paper cut fingers as I flip the papyrus hives freely.

Dusting the once bipolar school of its moths.


Proving excellence is paralleled to race.

Immersed in reality, black beaded and unbarred.

My word breath fans glass cuts.

From writing guava booklets with unsharpened pencils.

Index and sand calculus with handmade stencils.

Seed abacuses and tin can toy house utensils.

As a liberated voice knocks through the head like a blacksmith plover’s chirp.

In my mind strength sticks, cobbled materialising dreams.

Ignoring the war that was, I powder my scars.

Clouds at shoulder height like a pirate’s parrot as a soar.

Birds blur into flies in my pupils.

Staring through the vignette pane of history, sacrifice wrote my story.

The Soweto dust, obstructs my lens like fern leaves

A moment that scratched laughter from my lips,

Deadly yet hope orbited the sky in whip sweeps.

History paint brushed in blood, clung to positivity like limpets on rock.

Now I can read, now I can write my own scrolls.

Now I am free to sink in the cushiness of the light.

I can see now! My victory made!

The once chain bound neck now connects my lungs to a freedom filled atmosphere.



I’m born African.

In the sands of Kalahari, the jungles of Southern Africa.

In the wonders of Nyanga

In the heat of savanna

I’m born African.

I bare the title of them born and raised

In the sands that I build my wealth.

I hold the prestigious bones

That were owned by men and women

Who fought and died for my freedom

To live in a world free of color and belief.

To live in the continent

Which I will die in and my bones will be buried.

But before I die

I will make my name known in Africa

To make my prayers attached

To the starving nations and children

Who survive on less than I have

Whose hope z vanished and faith z absorbed

By the ravenous heat of the equatorial.

I am my brother and sisters keeper

Here in Africa

Because my parents gave me the African name

Which I share with them

And I will not live in to die in oblivion

Simply because I am born African

I am an African Child.



When we were black . . .

Sunrise was our call for an eternal day,

That which we spent in the scorching sun, only under a whip’s shade,

Our hoes igniting the dry earth like a giant cigar,

We would smoke the dust storm,

With the thundering of machine guns pinned onto our buttocks,

Burning us into ashes,

Watering the estates with blood,

Bodies of our brothers and sisters made fertile composts in the vine yards.

The breath of our evaporating souls appetising our anger.


Being born black was a suicide,

For it was inhuman to survive,

And rather a curse to stay alive.

Only the hope of freedom would abide.

Our flesh was starved and bled,

Do you remember sneaking in the dark to the kennels to milk their

hounds for our survival,

And feeding our offspring on their refusal,

But all this was sought to get the strength we need to hope,

And maybe just enough to die.


It came to pass when the mouse let fall the alter crumb,

Our ancestors forged their rage into military reforms,

Our chained minds lost sanity in unity,

For they sought their eyes on victory,

Marching from our hearts, the cemetery,

Their sense felt nothing but bravery,

Sticks, hoes, slings, stones, arrows and flesh,

Against machine guns, rifles, bombers, poisonous gas and grenades,

Was it a fair fight we won, nhai Mwari?



The day of the African child,

A tribute to dozen souls of a student massacre;

For their upri . . .

Of the law but human abattoirs,

And the cutting edge detained many toes;

As though their mouths couldn’t tell,

When magic fingers pulled their trigger;

To loot and shoot all *Negro *faces on earth,

In the pot of golden smiles but broken, fallen,

Divided yet chanted,

Deserted, unwanted, shouted, mounted, busted,

Bastards, Mormons, morons, *kaffirs*!

But what purpose did it serve, except nightmares;

And torture, for the silent night has faded,

When violent times painted;

The walls of Africa’s cold blooded fools…

With anger and violence against one another, O


When groups of learned mentors rebuked;

African ancestors for the crisis, but refused…

To be urged for a better Africa, abused;

To be Black in the hands of the few,

African child, stood for their rights but seduced;

By modern slavery; the mental slavery, with piles

of cartoons,

When troops of haters of being Black stood;

Between each street of Soweto before noon . . . Of the 16th of June,

Their eyes shone for the day’s doom,

Their hearts envied blood in the hands of their

victim without truce,

But the new moon;

Had begun its journey of the universe, searching

for the Black youth,

For their melanin skin had long been pronounced

in their rare books,

The books in hearts of many, but written in faded

letters of the truth…

And truth be told, for the Black woman and child

need to know;

Why their land was grabbed and dispossessed by

the anti-*Negro,*

And Africa still cries for her lost treasures,

And I wonder what truth it would measure,

When poverty has walked in huts of thousands

and dozens;

Like sacred dreams,

What world does it seem to be, when traits of

hatred still persist?

O child of the African soils, behold!

For time cannot measure like distance,

But wild to be scattered in an instance,

We are one! We are the remains of mystery,

And taught to be kind to the victim,

For today’s Africa knows

more than yesterday’s system,

Yet our bondage serenades in shackles of

history . . . What freedom do we seek, when we’re born free?

What phantom do we dream of, when a child of

Africa’s tears bleed?

O human’s rights, when united nations behold

their souls;

For the human to be right and wrong,

Were it right to shoot at them, when songs from

their mouths they told?

And stones in their hands they had, but crowded

for a common goal;

Freedom, and ‘‘freedom is coming tomorrow’’ their hope . . .

Our hope, for freedom is never coming any day soon, but a narrow;

Escape from the tooth of a lion’s shadow

Inomusa Ndlovu, SOCIAL SCIENCES UZ 2014


Albert Sithole, Purchasing&supply ND Kwekwe polytechnic

Donald Kuutsi, marketing management ND Harare Polytechnic

Gregory Samakande, I.T ND Harare Polytechnic

Benevolent Masora, Upper 6 MPC Churchill Boys High

Lucky Buyalani, Spoken Word artist & Author : Botswana

Onalethuso Petruss Buyile ‘‘Mambo’’ Ntema

[BOTSWANA] — BA (Sociology) UB,

Creative writer & author of SOUL SEEDS, The Voice of a Shadow, Poko-Puo: Tswana Same.


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